Dey, Moul, C. Ripoll, R. Pouleva, R. Dorn, I. Aranovich, D Zaurov, A Kurmukov, M. Eliseyeva, I. Belolipov, A. Akimaliev, I. Sodombekov, D. Akimaliev, M.A. Lila and I. Raskin. 2008. Plant extracts from Central Asia showing anti-inflammatory activities in gene expression assays. Phytotherapy Research 22: 929-934.
Plant natural products remain a good resource for the discovery of novel pharmaceuticals. A mouse macrophage-based quantitative, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) system was optimized to screen plant extracts for antiinflammatory activities using three well known genetic markers of inflammation. Plants used for extraction were taxonomically identified and vouchered species from two Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, collected through the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) program. The mRNA expression of cyclooxygenase-2, interleukin 1beta and inducible nitric oxide synthase genes in RAW macrophages was determined quantitatively in response to treatment with plant extracts applied at 100 microg/mL. The screening of 1000 extracts from 449 plant species belonging to 68 plant families resulted in 75 extracts (7.5%) showing strong (75% or higher inhibition) activity against at least one target gene. Many extracts showed qualitative and quantitative differences in the levels of activities against each target gene. Extracts identified from this screen were able to reduce inflammatory symptoms in vivo, thereby validating the screening approach.